372/2018 Mirko Draca, Jason Garred, Leanne Stickland and Nele Warrinnier
How successful are sanctions at targeting the economic interests of political elites in affected countries? We study the case of Iran, using information on the stock exchange-listed assets of two specific political entities with significant influence over the direction of Iran’s nuclear program. Our identification strategy focuses on the process of negotiations for sanctions removal, examining which interests benefit most from news about diplomatic progress. The results indicate the ‘bluntness’ of sanctions on Iran, but also provide evidence of their effectiveness in generating substantial economic incentives for elite policymakers to negotiate a deal for sanctions relief.